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UK news in brief

20 July 2018

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Thumbs up: the First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump (centre), accompanied by the Prime Minister’s husband, Philip May (left of centre), and pupils from St George’s C of E Primary School in Battersea, tries her hand at bowls at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, London, during her husband’s official visit to the UK, last week. She later helped the pupils assemble some of the 57 million poppies to be sold this year for Remembrance Sunday

Thumbs up: the First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump (centre), accompanied by the Prime Minister’s husband, Philip May (


Franklin Graham ads banned from Blackpool buses

ADVERTS for the Franklin Graham Lancashire Festival of Hope have been banned from Blackpool buses: Blackpool Transport has said that they “resulted in heightened tension”. Blackpool churches that form the organising committee for the festival said that they hoped that “Blackpool Transport will listen to our public feedback as well, and not show what appears to be a potential bias against Christians”. Concerns had been raised over some of Mr Graham’s previous remarks about homosexuality and Islam. In December, the Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Revd Julian Henderson, was urged to make it clear that the invitation of Mr Graham to Blackpool was not in his name. Bishop Henderson declined to comment (News, 8 December, 2017).


Crem funerals too hurried, bereaved tell survey

GRIEVING families have said that they feel as if they are on a “conveyor belt” as they attend rushed funerals at crematoria, new research suggests. A survey carried out by Trajectory and funded by Dignity Funeral Services, which owns 46 crematoria, contacted 2022 adults who had arranged a cremation funeral in the past three years. In the study published this week, 36 per cent said that they felt that they were on a “conveyor belt”; 29 per cent said that they did not feel that the crematorium service was long enough. Church of England funerals are declining, just 28 per cent of funerals were conducted under the Church’s auspices in 2016, down from 41 per cent in 2006.


Woolworth’s chocolate-thief makes amends

A MYSTERY shoplifter delivered a letter to the management of a Liverpool shopping centre, apologising for stealing two chocolate bars in the 1970s, with £5 attached for the cost. Belle Vue Shopping Centre received the letter last week, which read: “I stole two bars of chocolate from Woolworths in your shopping centre in 1975, when I was a little boy. I apologise, I didn’t know any better, here’s the money I owe you for them.” The money was donated to a local hospice, since the Woolworth’s chain of stores no longer exists.


Relaxed attitude to gender stereotyping rejected

THE Revd Philip Green, a teacher and assistant chaplain at Aldenham School, in Hertfordshire, has complained about “everyday sexism” in toiletries. Targeting his criticism at the Radox range, he said that it was offensive that products for men were labelled “strong”, “powerful”, “sporty”, and “heroic”, while those for women were described as “glam”, “fabulous”, “exotic”, and “sensational”. “My wife and daughters are undoubtedly sporty, heroic, powerful and strong; so I was quite upset when I saw the packaging. I definitely won’t be buying Radox products again until the ‘men’ is removed from the labels.”

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